I decided to turn vegetarian. Yes, I love animals and I believe there is just a game of chances that we spoil cats and kill chickens, yet my affection for living creatures and a sort of disgust for blood are not the only reasons for this radical decision. I decided to apply behavioural change strategies on myself and this seemed a good goal.
How it works (and it works, do not bring the “discounting effect” of priming as a cons):
– creating negative associations: I try to pair meat with blood. I like meat, but I’m sensitive to blood. So whenever I see a chicken breast sandwich or a burger, I try to imagine that meat being full of blood.
* to work, the association must be real. In this case, in order to have meat, for sure some blood was lost, because a living creature had to die.
– the mirror technique: research shows that we are more prone to eat healthily if we see ourselves in the mirror. We usually seek positive self-knowledge, we like to see ourselves as being good and nice and deserving. Looking at myself in the mirror before going to the kitchen / out to eat will remind me that I don’t want to be bad.
– creating rules: no moment of hunger. Our cognitive energy is limited during the day, if I don’t eat enough and I’m hungry and tired, I might have to fight with both hunger and the decision to refrain from meat.
* this also means eating before going out or before someone starts cooking: if I’m hungry, I’ll just eat something I find around and that something is likely to be meat.
– the default option: meatless is the standard, if I crave a hamburger, I have to decide to go and buy it, or decide if it’s good or not and why it isn’t and go back to some of the stages I mentioned already. So vegetables and fruits are the norm, and the effortful decision is opting for meat.
I will gradually post other tricks I use. For now, I just started and it’s going surprisingly well.